Galatians 5:22-24 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
2 Peter 1:5-8 – But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Matthew 22:36-40 – Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it , Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
1 Corinthians 9:27 – But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.
In the last few weeks we have been exploring the nine fruit of the Spirit. This week we are rounding up with the last but not the least one. Temperance,otherwise known as self-control. You may be wondering what difference is there between meekness and self-control. Meekness has to do with the attitude or demeanour of a person who can control his temper or emotions. But the word temperance or self-control comes from the Greek words en and Kratos. The word en means in, and the word kratos means power. When compounded into one word, these two Greek words form the word enkrateia, which literally means in control and denotes power over one’s self. It suggests the control or restraint of one’s passions, appetites, and desires.
Just as a meek individual can control his attitude, a person with temperance has power over his appetites, physical urges, passions and desires. As one permits and cooperate with the Holy Spirit He produces temperance in a person’s life, the person is able to say no to overeating, no to indulging in fleshly activities, no to any excess in the physical realm. A person with self-control maintains a life of moderation and control, a life of restraint, discipline and balance.
When a person is controlled by the Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit produces in him/her a discipline over the physical realm that helps him sustain his physical condition, stay in good health, remain free from sin and live a life that is moderate and balance.
In closing this series, I would like us to return to the beginning again. The fruit of love is what binds everything together. When we discover how much God loves us it gives us the confidence to trust Him and value ourselves more. Knowing and receiving His love for you enables you to start to bear the fruit of love. Remember what you don’t have you can’t pass on to others. Your revelation of God’s love for you also helps you to love God in return. It helps you to become more open to His Spirit and as a result you begin to allow the fruit of Spirit to manifest in your life. This is what we call spiritual development. The more you allow the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit in your life the more spiritually mature you become.
Always remember, that the gifts and calling of God are by God’s choice but the bearing of fruit of the Spirit onto maturity is by your own choice. So it is your responsibility to see to it that the fruit is well developed in your life through your cooperation with the Holy Spirit. That is why it is important you love yourself. The true evidence of self-love is self-development. Note I didn’t say self-worship or selfishness. Self-love is seeing your self as God sees you and loving who He has made you and putting your resources towards being and staying that way. Self worship is focusing on yourself and everything you think you are without God in it. I pray that the fruit of the Spirit will flourish in your life.
For further Study
2 Corinthians 10:1, 1 Corinthians 9:20-22
Personal declaration for the day
I am enabled by the Holy Spirit to be selfless and sacrificial.
Questions for you to reflect on
Carry remember a selfless act you did?
Who have you made sacrifice for?
Questions for you to Consider
In what areas do you think you need more self –control? Take time to think about the question and then make a list of this area in your life and then ask for the help of Holy Spirit.
How much time, money and energy have you invested in developing yourself mentally, spiritual, academically and physically this year? Take an inventory.